I was the foreign exchange student at A.C. Jones High School  1966-67. I am in the process of settling into an apartment in the centre of Cape Town, where I was born. I graduated from the University of Cape Town and lectured in philosophy at the University of Cape Town, Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and finally at the University of Zululand in the north of South Africa, a few hour’s drive from Swaziland and Mozambique. Now that I am no longer lecturing I have time to do research. My focus is on interpreting the research done by psychologists on perception and behavior.  

The memory of that magical year which I spent in Texas has stayed alive in me all these years. I believe it has influenced my work and my approach to people. Fortunately, from time to time I have been able to renew my links to Beeville. In 1977, Brother B. C. and Mrs. Brown [Eldon’s host family], with 12 or 13 members of the First Baptist church went to visit a small Baptist church in Genoa, Italy. At the time I was studying in Paris and was able to come down for the week with them. Unfortunately, this proved to be the last time I saw Brother Brown. 

Having heard so much from me about this wonderful experience and equally wonderful town, my parents decided to visit Beeville in 1987. They visited with the Browns, went to A.C. Jones High School and met some of my teachers, and at last understood what my excitement had all been about.

In 1994, I presented at a conference in Georgia and had time to fly to Corpus Christi. Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Garvey came to fetch me at the airport, and a mini get-together was organized. Afterwards, Nubbin Ginn, in uniform [probably highway patrol], drove me back to the airport. From there I flew to Dallas where I met Charlie Brown and Dena Wilson James who took me to visit with Jimmy Baird and family.

Later, I was able to make it to one class reunion. Dena and Donovan Brashear fetched me at the airport, and I was graciously hosted by John Littlejohn. This reunion was because with a bit more maturity we could talk about our experiences of that year. 

I spent my sabbatical at the University of Southern Illinois and was able to meet again with Dena and John. John is the only one who has come to visit me in Zululand.   Besides wild animals in the game park, Zululand doesn’t have too much for the tourist but at least John got to do some hunting.

Now at last I am in Cape Town, a city which has such a beautiful mountain and beautiful drives along the coast, and I’m so pleased that Yolanda Ramírez Franzen has remembered me and I met her husband Jerry and friends on the first leg of their African safari. Just hearing the names of school friends and teachers made me feel as if I was back in that golden period of my life.

I have an apartment right in the middle of town with easy access to buses and trains. If you are from Beeville, even if we have never met, you will be welcome. I can show you around or you can do your own thing. So I look forward to your visit.

Yours ever,

Eldon Wait

South Africa